BEN Garrity has started a new and exciting chapter in his life.

After 18 months of putting smiles on the faces of Warrington Town fans, the time has come for him to take the step into full-time football.

League One side Blackpool have taken a punt on the 22-year-old and if early signs are anything to go by, it may prove an inspired move.

It will come as no surprise to Yellows supporters that Garrity marked his first Tangerines appearance with a goal in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday.

However, as he strives for a spot in the first team at Bloomfield Road, he cannot help but feel he has left unfinished business behind.

Warrington Guardian:

Garrity after scoring against Matlock Town in October. Picture by John Hopkins

“Part of me is gutted. I loved it at Warrington,” he told the Guardian in his farewell interview.

“I’ve been there for a year and a half and I’ve had some great times with the lads.

“I’m made up I’ve got this opportunity – that’s the reason you play football – but it would have been nice to have got a promotion with Warrington first.

“It’s what we deserve – I know we haven’t been great this season but last year, we were superb and deserved to go up.

“It would have been nice to have tried to finish the job.”

Garrity’s journey is a remarkable one – he was playing for Oyster AFC, a Liverpool Sunday league side with a big reputation for producing talent, before Yellows boss Paul Carden brought him in prior to the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

It became clear from very early on that Town had something special on their hands and after playing a starring role in a season that fell agonisingly short of promotion, it appeared inevitable that clubs would fight it out for his signature.

Fight it out they did, but Garrity felt the time was not right and penned a two-year deal with Town.

Even as he moves on less than a year into that contract, it is clear Cantilever Park will always hold a special place in his heart.

“I owe the club so much. They’ve put me in the position I’m in now,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say they took a gamble on me because I was confident in myself that I could do it, but they didn’t know how I would react.

“Cards and Toby (Macormac, Yellows chairman) have pushed me towards this and I can’t thank them enough in that sense.

“It’s been a great 18 months at Warrington and the fans have been a big part of it.

“Hearing them sing my name gets you really up for it.

“Knowing people are travelling to the likes of South Shields and Morpeth to watch you, whether you’re doing well or not, makes you want to give your all.

“That play-off final was an unreal experience even though we ended up losing.

“My favourite game was probably the Nantwich semi-final – we were brilliant that day.

“There is the South Shields play-off game as well, and when we played Halifax at home in the cup.

“There’s so many amazing memories that will stay with me forever.”

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One of Garrity's two goals against Nantwich Town in last season's play-off semi-final, and the wild celebration that followed. Pictures by John Hopkins

Garrity leaves his now former teammates as they fight to cling onto the coattails of those above them in the BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division.

But does he think there is enough in the dressing room without him to reach the promised land of promotion?

“I couldn’t really a full 90 minutes this season where we’ve played well,” he said.

“We’ve had spells where we’ve done okay – there’s probably only the Nantwich home game where I’ve come off thinking we’ve been very good.

“We’ve been well off it and we’re still right up there.

“I wish them all the best and I think they can do it. Nothing would make me happier.”

Warrington Guardian:

Garrity celebrates scoring what turned out to be his last Yellows goal, against Atherton Collieries on January 4. Picture by John Hopkins